SPEAKER: Fernanda Ledda (Instituto Leloir)

TITLE: Ligand-induced trans-synaptic adhesion in hippocampal plasticity and connectivity

DATE: Monday, June 26, 12 p.m.

VENUE: IBioBA´s seminar room. Godoy Cruz 2390, C1425FQD, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The function of the nervous system critically relies on the establishment of precise synaptic contacts between neurons and specific target cells. Elucidation of the mechanism by which synapses are formed is crucial for understanding the synaptic deficits that underlie cognitive disorders. Many membrane-bound synaptic adhesion molecules (SAMs) have been involved in target recognition and synapse specification by homophilic or heterophilic trans-synaptic interactions. A third group of trans-synaptic adhesion molecules are ligand dependent adhesion molecules (LiCAMs) which combines features of both diffusible and membrane bound synaptogenic factors to develop specific neural contacts. One of these ligands is the neurotrophic factor GDNF which binds to the pre and postsynaptic receptor GFRa1. In our laboratory we have investigated the role of this system in the plasticity of adult hippocampal circuits controlling the integration of newly generated neurons. We have also analyzed the mechanisms that underlies the formation of this adhesive and transynaptic complex.